A few years ago, I joined a life group and met some really amazing people. People who are still my friends to this day. The leaders of the group have a darling little boy, and he has Chiari Malformation. When it first came up, I told them about my husband’s boss’s wife having Chiari, also. It deeply affected her life. I couldn’t help but to hope and pray that their little boy wouldn’t face the same symptoms that she faced, but the future was and is unknown.
Unfortunately, we’ve lost touch with Jimmy’s former employer and therefore his wife, too. I don’t know how she is doing, but I do think of her often.
In honor of my friend’s little boy and my husband’s boss, I often shared graphics and changed my profile picture in September. I knew Chiari was a huge part of their story – maybe not the biggest part, but a very real and serious part.
What I didn’t know was that on June 13th of this year, I would be sitting in a neurologist’s office, hearing that same diagnosis for myself. Multiple migraine types and Chiari Malformation I. After my MRI and reading the wording and googling it, I had my suspicions. My dear friend did, too. She was a light to me, always reminding me that Jesus is enough even when our health is faltering.
I was nervous, reserved even, what if it wasn’t Chiari, what if it was something else? I searched and searched for different explanations to “cerebellar tonsillar ectopia” but I always landed right back on Chiari.
I know God was working things out for me long before I was googling my MRI findings, and long before that neurologist confirmed the findings. I knew God put specific people in my life to help me walk through life and to keep me focused on Him. I am so thankful for His careful and thoughtful orchestration. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think God afflicted me with Chiari. But I do know He is already in our future and aware of what is coming, and that He works all things together for the good of those who love and serve Him.
Chiari may be part of my story now, but it is not my whole story. Chiari may give me some really bad, really hard days, but it can’t take away all of the good that God has given me.
I will keep pressing forward, day after day, trusting God to work in me and through me, no matter how healthy or sick my body may be. And in September, I will share about Chiari, not only for me, but for all of the people learning to live with the challenges that come with Chiari.
Help spread awareness for Chiari Malformation with this coffee cup from Amazon.
Do you have an invisible illness? I’d love to hear more about it in the comments below.